# \$71 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

In today’s economy, an hourly wage of \$71 an hour sounds fantastic to many workers. But it’s important to understand exactly what that hourly pay translates to over the course of a year. Does \$71 per hour provide a comfortable living? Is it enough to afford major purchases like a house or car? This article will break down the before and after tax yearly, monthly, and weekly salaries for \$71 an hour.

We’ll discuss whether \$71 an hour is a good wage in today’s economy with rising inflation. You’ll learn how unpaid time off can impact your actual annual earnings at this rate. We’ll also look at jobs that pay \$71 per hour or more and overview some sample budgets to see if you can realistically live on this income. Understanding the true value of \$71 an hour will help you better negotiate job offers and salaries. Keep reading for a full analysis of what \$71 per hour equals over the course of a year and if it may be the right pay rate for your financial needs.

## Convert \$71 Per Hour to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Salary

Input your wage and hours per week to see how much you’ll make monthly, yearly and more.

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### \$71 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$71 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$147,680. We calculate your annual income based on 8 hours per day, 5 days per week and 52 weeks in the year.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$71) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$147,680

### \$71 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$71 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$12,306.67. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$71) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$12,306.67

### \$71 an Hour is How Much Biweekly?

If you make \$71 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$5,680.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$71) x 2 = \$5,680

### \$71 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$71 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$2,840. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$71) = \$2,840

### \$71 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$71 an hour, your daily salary would be \$568. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage(\$71) = \$568

## \$71 an Hour is How Much a Year?

The basic formula to calculate your annual salary from an hourly wage is:

Hourly Rate x Hours Worked per Week x Number of Weeks Worked per Year = Annual Salary

So for a \$20 per hour job:

\$71 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$147,680

However, this simple calculation makes some assumptions:

• You will work 40 hours every week of the year
• You will not get any paid time off

Therefore, it represents your earnings if you worked every week of the year, without any vacation, holidays, or sick days.

Accounting for Paid Time Off

The \$147,680 base salary does not yet factor in paid time off (PTO). Let’s assume the job provides:

• 2 weeks (10 days) paid vacation
• 6 paid holidays
• 3 paid sick days

This totals 19 paid days off, or nearly 4 weeks of PTO.

Importantly, this paid time off should not be deducted from the annual salary, since you still get paid for those days.

So with 4 weeks PTO, the annual salary would remain \$147,680 .

## Part time \$71 an hour is How Much a Year?

Your annual income changes significantly if you work part-time and not full-time.

For example, let’s say you work 30 hours per week instead of 40. Here’s how you calculate your new yearly total:

\$71 per hour x 30 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$110,760

By working 10 fewer hours per week (30 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$71 an hour drop from \$147,680 to \$110,760.

That’s a \$36,920 per year difference just by working part-time!

Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at \$71 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$2,840 \$147,680
35 \$2,485 \$129,220
30 \$2,130 \$110,760
25 \$1,775 \$92,300
20 \$1,420 \$73,840
15 \$1,065 \$55,380

The more hours per week, the higher your total yearly earnings. But part-time work allows for more life balance if you don’t need the full salary.

## \$71 an Hour With Overtime is How Much a Year?

Now let’s look at how overtime can increase your annual earnings.

Overtime kicks in once you work more than 40 hours in a week. Typically, you earn 1.5x your regular hourly wage for overtime hours.

So if you make \$71 per hour normally, you would make \$106.50 per hour for any hours over 40 in a week.

Here’s an example:

• You work 45 hours in a Week
• 40 regular hours paid at \$71 per hour = \$2,840
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$106.50 per hour = \$532.50
• Your total one Week earnings =\$2,840 + \$532.50 = \$3,372.50

If you worked 45 hours each week for 52 weeks, here’s how your annual earnings increase thanks to overtime pay:

\$3,372.50 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$175,370

That’s \$27,690 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$71 an hour.

Overtime can add up! But also consider taxes and work-life balance when deciding on extra hours.

Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at \$71 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$2,840 \$147,680 1 45 \$3,372.50 \$175,370 2 50 \$3,905 \$203,060 3 55 \$4,437.50 \$230,750 4 60 \$4,970 \$258,440 5 65 \$5,502.50 \$286,130 6 70 \$6,035 \$313,820 7 75 \$6,567.50 \$341,510

## How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$71/Hour Yearly Earnings

So far we’ve assumed you work 52 paid weeks per year. Any unpaid time off will reduce your total income.

For example, let’s say you take 2 weeks of unpaid leave. That brings your paid weeks down to 50:

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$71) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$142,000 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$71/hour would drop by \$5,680.

The table below summarizes how your annual income changes depending on the number of weeks of unpaid leave.

 Weeks of unpaid leave Paid weeks per year Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 52 \$2,840 \$147,680 1 51 \$2,840 \$144,840 2 50 \$2,840 \$142,000 3 49 \$2,840 \$139,160 4 48 \$2,840 \$136,320 5 47 \$2,840 \$133,480 6 46 \$2,840 \$130,640 7 45 \$2,840 \$127,800

## Key Takeaways for \$71 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$71 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$147,680 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$110,760 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$27,690 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$5,680 less per 2 weeks off.
• Your specific situation and location impacts taxes and PTO.

Knowing your approximate annual salary and factors impacting it makes it easier to budget and plan your finances. The next step is calculating take-home pay after deductions like taxes.

## \$71 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes

Figuring out your actual annual earnings based on an hourly wage can be complicated once taxes are taken into account. In addition to federal, state, and local income taxes, 7.65% of your gross pay also goes to Social Security and Medicare through FICA payroll taxes. So how much does \$71 an hour equal per year after FICA and income taxes are deducted from your gross pay?

Below we’ll walk through the steps to calculate your annual net take home pay if you make \$71 per hour. This will factor in estimated federal, FICA, state, and local taxes so you know exactly what to expect.

### Factoring in Federal Income Tax

Your federal income tax will be a big chunk out of your gross pay. Federal tax rates range from 10% to 37%, depending on your tax bracket.

To estimate your federal income tax rate and liability:

Look up your federal income tax bracket based on your gross pay.

2023 tax brackets: single filers

Tax rate Taxable income bracket Tax owed
10% \$0 to \$11,000. 10% of taxable income.
12% \$11,001 to \$44,725. \$1,100 plus 12% of the amount over \$11,000.
22% \$44,726 to \$95,375. \$5,147 plus 22% of the amount over \$44,725.
24% \$95,376 to \$182,100. \$16,290 plus 24% of the amount over \$95,375.
32% \$182,101 to \$231,250. \$37,104 plus 32% of the amount over \$182,100.
35% \$231,251 to \$578,125. \$52,832 plus 35% of the amount over \$231,250.
37% \$578,126 or more. \$174,238.25 plus 37% of the amount over \$578,125.

For example, if you are single with \$147,680 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 24%.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$16,290 + (\$147,680 – \$95,376) x 24% = \$28,842.96

So at \$71/hour with \$147,680 gross pay, you would owe about \$28,842.96 in federal income taxes.

### Considering State Income Tax

In addition to federal tax, most states also charge a state income tax. State income tax rates range from about 1% to 13%, with most falling between 4% and 6%.

Key Takeaways

• California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon have some of the highest state income tax rates.
• Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming don’t impose an income tax at all.
• Another 10 U.S states have a flat tax rate—everyone pays the same percentage regardless of how much they earn.

A State-by-State Comparison of Income Tax Rates

STATE TAX RATES LOWEST AND HIGHEST INCOME BRACKETS
Florida 0% None
South Dakota 0% None
Tennessee 0% None
Texas 0% None
Washington 0% None
Wyoming 0% None
Colorado 4.55% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Illinois 4.95% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Indiana 3.23% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Kentucky 5% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Massachusetts 5% Flat rate applies to all incomes
New Hampshire 5% Flat rate on interest and dividend income only
North Carolina 4.99% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Pennsylvania 3.07% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Utah 4.95% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Michigan 4.25% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Arizona 2.59% to 4.5% \$27,806 and \$166,843
Arkansas 2% to 5.5% \$4,300 and \$8,501
California 1% to 13.3% \$9,325 and \$1 million
Connecticut 3% to 6.99% \$10,000 and \$500,000
Delaware 0% to 6.6% \$2,000 and \$60,001
Alabama 2% to 5% \$500 and \$3,001
Georgia 1% to 5.75% \$750 and \$7,001
Hawaii 1.4% to 11% \$2,400 and \$200,000
Idaho 1.125% to 6.5% \$1,568 and \$7,939
Iowa 0.33% to 8.53% \$1,743 and \$78,435
Kansas 3.1% to 5.7% \$15,000 and \$30,000
Louisiana 1.85% to 4.25% \$12,500 and \$50,001
Maine 5.8% to 7.15% \$23,000 and \$54,450
Maryland 2% to 5.75%  \$1,000 and \$250,000
Minnesota 5.35% to 9.85% \$28,080 and \$171,221
Mississippi 0% to 5% \$5,000 and \$10,001
Missouri 1.5% to 5.3% \$1,121 and \$8,968
Montana 1% to 6.75% \$2,900and \$17,400
Nebraska 2.46% to 6.84% \$3,340 and \$32,210
New Jersey 1.4% to 10.75% \$20,000 and \$1 million
New Mexico 1.7% to 5.9% \$5,500 and \$210,000
New York 4% to 10.9% \$8,500 and \$25 million
North Dakota 1.1% to 2.9% \$41,775 and \$458,350
Ohio 0% to 3.99% \$25,000 and \$110,650
Oklahoma 0.25% to 4.75% \$1,000 and \$7,200
Oregon 4.75% to 9.9% \$3,750 and \$125,000
Rhode Island 3.75% to 5.99% \$68,200 and \$155,050
South Carolina 0% to 7% \$3,110 and \$15,560
Vermont 3.35% to 8.75% \$42,150 and \$213,150
Virginia 2% to 5.75% \$3,000 and \$17,001
Washington, D.C. 4% to 9.75% \$10,000 and \$1 million
West Virginia 3% to 6.5% \$10,000 and \$60,000
Wisconsin 3.54% to 7.65% \$12,760 and \$280,950

To estimate your state income tax:

Look up your state income tax rate based on your gross pay and filing status.

Multiply your gross annual pay by the state tax rate.

For example, if you live in Pennsylvania which has a flat 3.07% tax rate, your estimated state tax would be:

\$147,680 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$4,533.78 estimated state income tax

So with \$147,680 gross annual income, you would owe around \$4,533.78 in Pennsylvania state income tax. Make sure to check your specific state’s rates.

### Factoring in Local Taxes

Some cities and counties levy local income taxes ranging from 1-3% of taxable income.

To estimate potential local taxes you may owe:

• Check if your city or county charges a local income tax.
• If yes, look up the local income tax rate.
• Multiply your gross annual pay by the local tax rate.

For example, say you live in Columbus, OH which has a 2.5% local income tax. Your estimated local tax would be:

\$147,680 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$3,692 estimated local tax

So with \$147,680 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$3,692 in Columbus local income taxes. Verify rates for your own city/county.

### Accounting for FICA Taxes (Social Security & Medicare)

FICA taxes are a combination of Social Security and Medicare taxes that equal 15.3% of your earnings. You are responsible for half of the total bill (7.65%), which includes a 6.2% Social Security tax and 1.45% Medicare tax on your earnings.

In 2023, only the first \$160,200 of your earnings are subject to the Social Security tax

There is an additional 0.9% surtax on top of the standard 1.45% Medicare tax for those who earn over \$200,000 (single filers) or \$250,000 (joint filers).

To estimate your FICA tax payment:

\$147,680 x 6.2% + \$147,680 x 1.45% = \$11,297.52

So you can expect to pay about \$11,297.52 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$147,680 in earnings.

### Total Estimated Tax Payments

Based on the examples above, your total estimated tax payments would be:

Federal tax: \$28,842.96

State tax: \$4,533.78

Local tax: \$3,692

FICA tax: \$11,297.52

Total Estimated Tax: \$48,366.26

### Calculating Your Take Home Pay

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$71 /hour:

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$147,680 gross pay – \$48,366.26 Total Estimated Tax = \$99,313.74 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$71 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$99,313.74 per year after federal, state, local , FICA taxes.

Your actual net income may vary depending on your specific tax situation. But this gives you a general idea of what to expect.

## Convert \$71 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$71 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$147,680 .

The \$147,680 per year salary does not account for taxes. Federal, state, and local taxes will reduce your take-home pay. The amount withheld depends on your location, filing status, dependents, and other factors.

Just now during our calculation of \$71 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$147,680 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 24 %.
• You live in Pennsylvania which has a flat 3.07% tax rate
• You live in Columbus, OH which has a 2.5% local income tax.

In the end, we calculated your Total Estimated Tax is \$48,366.26 , Your Take Home Pay is \$99,313.74 , Total tax rate is 32.75%.

So next we’ll use 32.75% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

### \$71 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, Weekly,and Week Salary After Taxes Table

 Income before taxes Estimated Tax Rate Income Taxes After Tax Income Yearly Salary \$147,680 32.75% \$48,366.26 \$99,313.74 Monthly Salary \$12,306.67 32.75% \$4,030.52 \$8,276.15 BiWeekly Salary \$5,680 32.75% \$1,860.24 \$3,819.76 Weekly Salary \$2,840 32.75% \$930.12 \$1,909.88

### \$71  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 32.75% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$147,680
• Estimated tax rate: 32.75%
• Taxes owed (32.75% * \$147,680 )= \$48,366.26
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$99,313.74
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$71 40 52 \$147,680 32.75% \$48,366.26 \$99,313.74

### \$71 an hour is how much a month after taxes

To calculate the monthly salary based on an hourly wage, you first need the yearly salary amount. Then divide by 12 months.

• Yearly salary before taxes at \$71 per hour: \$147,680
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$147,680 / 12 = \$12,306.67 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$71 per hour is \$12,306.67 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 32.75% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$12,306.67
• Estimated tax rate: 32.75%
• Taxes owed (32.75% * \$12,306.67 )= \$4,030.52
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$8,276.15

Monthly Salary Based on \$71 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$71 \$147,680 12 \$12,306.67 32.75% \$4,030.52 \$8,276.15

### \$71 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$71 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$71
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$71 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = \$5,680 biweekly

Applying the 32.75%estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$5,680
• Estimated tax rate: 32.75%
• Taxes owed (32.75% * \$5,680 )= \$1,860.24
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$3,819.76

Biweekly Salary at \$71 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Per Pay Period Before-Tax Biweekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Biweekly Salary
\$71 40 2 \$5,680 32.75% \$1,860.24 \$3,819.76

### \$71 an hour is how much weekly after taxes

To find the weekly salary based on an hourly wage, you need to know the number of hours worked per week. At 40 hours per week, the calculation is:

• Hourly wage: \$71
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$71 * 40 hours = \$2,840 per week

Accounting for the estimated 32.75% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$2,840
• Estimated tax rate: 32.75%
• Taxes owed (32.75% * \$2,840 )= \$930.12
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$1,909.88

Weekly Salary at \$71 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$71 40 \$2,840 32.75% \$930.12 \$1,909.88

### Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$71 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$147,680 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 32.75% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$99,313.74 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$71 per hour equals \$12,306.67 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$8,276.15 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$71 per hour is \$2,840 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$1,909.88 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$71 per hour is \$5,680 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$3,819.76 .

Understanding annual, monthly, weekly, and biweekly salary equivalents based on an hourly wage is useful when budgeting and financial planning. Taxes make a significant difference in take-home pay, so be sure to account for them when making income conversions. Use this guide as a reference when making salary calculations.

## What Is the Average Hourly Wage in the US?

Last Updated: Sep 1 2023

US Average Hourly Earnings is at a current level of \$33.82, up from 33.74 last month and up from 32.43 one year ago. This is a change of 0.24% from last month and 4.29% from one year ago.

Average Hourly Earnings is the average dollars that a private employee makes per hour in the US. This metric is a part of one of the most important releases every month which includes unemployment numbers as well. This is normally released on the first Friday of every month. This metric is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

## What is the average salary in the U.S.?

Last Updated: July 18, 2023

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses median salary data rather than averages to avoid skewed numbers from outlying high and low numbers. Median weekly earnings of the nation's 121.5 million full-time wage and salary workers were \$1,100 in the second quarter of 2023, the U.S.

If a person works 52 weeks in the year, then this represents a national annual salary of \$57,200.

## Is \$71 an Hour a Good Salary?

Whether \$71 an hour is a good salary largely depends on where you live and your personal circumstances. In high cost-of-living areas like New York City or San Francisco, this wage may be just average. However, in many other parts of the country, \$71 an hour would be considered an excellent income.

To put \$71 an hour in perspective, it equates to an annual salary of around \$147,680 if working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. The median annual wage in the US as of May 2020 was \$41,950, so \$71 an hour is over 3 times higher. However, places like Manhattan have a median household income approaching \$85,000. So while a high national wage, \$71 an hour does not guarantee prosperity in all zip codes.

Your lifestyle expectations also impact whether \$71 an hour meets your needs. Single adults with no children may live comfortably on this salary in most areas. However, for a family supporting multiple children, especially in high-cost regions, \$71 an hour may provide little disposable income after covering housing, food, healthcare, and other expenses. Educational costs and other big-ticket expenses could still be challenging.

## Jobs that pay \$71 an hour

While not common for entry-level positions, salaries in the \$70-\$80 per hour range are typical for certain professional careers. Here are some jobs that commonly pay around \$71 an hour:

• Software Developers – Experienced software developers can earn \$75 an hour or more, with the top 10% earning over \$140,000 annually. Highly skilled coders and engineers are in high demand.
• Specialized Attorneys – Lawyers with expertise in lucrative practice areas like patents, mergers and acquisitions, taxes, and corporate law often charge \$300 or more per hour. \$71 is on the lower end.
• Contract IT Professionals – Technology consultants hired on a project basis can command rates of \$70-\$100 per hour. Those with specialized skills earn towards the higher end.
• CPAs and Finance Experts – Certified Public Accountants, chartered financial analysts, and other accounting and finance pros can charge over \$70 an hour, especially when self-employed.
• Specialized Doctors – Experienced cardiologists, anesthesiologists, surgeons and other doctors in high demand fields earn \$90 to over \$200 per hour.
• Pilots – Airline pilots earn an average of about \$74 per flight hour. Senior pilots at major airlines earn well over \$200,000 annually.
• Specialized Sales/Broker Positions – Commission-based insurance brokers, software sales reps, and real estate brokers in hot markets can routinely earn over \$70 per transaction.

In most cases, the jobs paying \$70+ per hour require high-levels of education, training, skills, and seniority. Workers must either invest heavily in their careers or possess talents in extremely high market demand.

## Can You Live Off \$71 An Hour?

Whether \$71 an hour provides a livable wage depends primarily on four factors:

Location – In low cost-of-living rural areas and small towns, \$71 an hour affords an upper-middle class lifestyle. In high cost cities like San Francisco and New York, it may barely cover basic costs for families.

Family size – A single person can live comfortably on \$71 an hour almost anywhere. But larger families will find their earnings stretched, especially in major metro areas.

Debt levels – Existing debts like student loans and credit cards can make \$71 an hour feel inadequate if the payments consume a large chunk of your earnings.

Spending habits – Those with extravagant tastes or who fail to budget may still struggle financially even at this hourly rate.

For single adults with no children and modest debts, \$71 per hour should provide a solid middle-class or better standard of living in much of the country. You can afford a decent apartment or small house. Opting for housemates could free up more disposable income. A budget car or used vehicle are affordable. Occasional vacations, hobbies, and restaurant meals are reasonable indulgences.

However, for larger households and those carrying major financial burdens, \$71 an hour may require careful budgeting, especially in places like California and the Northeast. Purchasing a home could involve trade-offs and sacrifices. Still, this income makes a basic middle-class lifestyle attainable for most families outside the most expensive areas if they live within their means.

## The impact of inflation on the value of \$71 an hour

With U.S. inflation at a 40-year high in 2022, the costs of housing, vehicles, food, energy, healthcare and other goods are rising rapidly. As a result, the purchasing power of wages like \$71 an hour can decrease substantially over time.

Here are some ways that high inflation diminishes the practical value of \$71 per hour:

• Housing costs – Home prices and rents are outpacing wage growth in most areas, making housing less affordable. In hot markets, homes may simply be unattainable for those earning \$71 an hour.
• Consumer goods – Prices are spiking on everything from groceries and gas to cars and furniture. Non-discretionary purchases consume more of your budget.
• Wage growth lagging – Wage growth typically lags inflation. Without pay boosts, your \$71 per hour buys less each year.
• Devalued savings – From retirement accounts to bank accounts, the buying power of your savings drops since interest rates don’t match inflation.
• Looming recession – Economic downturns often feature job losses that can dramatically impact budgets. Recessions hit highest wage-earners hardest.

To maintain your standard of living, wage increases of at least 5-6% are generally needed during periods of high inflation. Otherwise, your pay is effectively decreasing each year.

## 5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

If you hope to earn more than \$71 per hour, here are some potential strategies:

• Develop specialized skills – Become an expert in a field like software development, financial analysis, or surgical nursing where specialized skills garner top wages.
• Switch industries – If your industry is stagnant, consider pivoting to a faster growing field. Tech and healthcare jobs often pay the most.
• Go independent – Rather than earning an hourly wage from an employer, work independently as a consultant who charges clients directly.
• Relocate to a major metro – Large coastal cities like San Francisco and New York offer the highest salaries for top talent, along with the highest costs of living.
• Negotiate raises aggressively – Don’t settle for annual cost-of-living adjustments. Push for sizeable merit raises to align with market rates.
• Change jobs strategically – Leverage lucrative job offers to negotiate better pay. Be willing to leave if your employer doesn’t compensate you fairly.

Constantly expanding your skills, maintaining up-to-date credentials, networking aggressively, and researching compensation benchmarks can help maximize your earning ability beyond \$71 an hour.

## Buying a car on \$71 an hour

Earning \$71 an hour provides sufficient income to afford a nice new or used vehicle in most cases. According to finance experts, a manageable car payment is typically 10-15% of your take-home pay. On \$71 an hour or about \$150,000 annually, that means up to around \$1,250 per month for your auto costs.

Here’s what kind of cars you can comfortably afford:

• New compact/mid-size car – A new Toyota Camry, Honda Civic or similar mainstream car in the \$25,000 to \$35,000 range fits comfortably within budget. You’d want to put 10-20% down to keep monthly payments under \$500.
• Late-model used car – You can easily find a 2-4 year old used Toyota, Honda or other reliable car for under \$20,000. Opt for the longest loan term possible to keep payments low.
• Luxury car – While a stretch, a \$50,000-\$60,000 luxury car is affordable with trade-ins and extended loans of 5-6 years. This would mean payments of up to \$1,000 monthly.

With \$71 an hour, you can afford more car than most American households. But it’s smart to keep your total monthly auto expenses including insurance, gas and repairs to under 15% of your pay. Investing excess income is better than overspending on rapidly depreciating vehicles.

## Can You Buy a House on \$71 An Hour?

Whether or not homeownership is achievable on \$71 an hour largely depends on four key factors:

Location – In smaller towns and rural areas, owning a home on this salary is certainly realistic. But in ultra-expensive real estate markets like the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City area, Seattle, Los Angeles, or Honolulu, earning \$71 an hour may not be enough to purchase property.

Down payment – The size of your down payment critically impacts the monthly mortgage you can afford. With 20% down, homeownership is feasible in all but the priciest markets. But with only 5% down, options will be constrained.

Debts – If you have substantial student loan, credit card, or auto debt payments, that reduces the mortgage payment you can handle. Pay down debts aggressively before buying.

Credit score – Your creditworthiness greatly influences mortgage rates and loan approval. Boost your credit score over 700 before applying for a home loan.

Assuming you have at least a 10-20% down payment and solid credit score, purchasing a home on \$71 an hour is very realistic in most of the country. But in ultra-high-cost cities, you’ll need to lower expectations and consider condos, townhomes, or outlying suburbs. Wherever you buy, don’t overstretch your budget just to become a homeowner.

## Example Budget For \$71 Per Hour

Here is a sample monthly budget for an individual earning \$71 an hour while working full-time:

• Gross Monthly Income – \$10,280 (assuming 40 hrs/wk x 4 weeks)

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• Federal Taxes – \$1,608
• State Taxes – \$463
• 401k Contribution – \$514 Total Paycheck – \$7,295
• Mortgage/Rent – \$2,000
• Car Payment – \$400
• Car Insurance – \$100
• Gas – \$200
• Groceries – \$550
• Dining Out – \$200
• Utilities – \$375
• Phone/Internet – \$125
• Subscriptions – \$60
• Entertainment – \$200 Total Essential Expenses – \$4,210

Remaining Income – \$3,085

This leaves over \$3,000 per month for savings goals, hobbies, travel, and discretionary spending. Of course, for those with children, the expenses for dependents must be accounted for as well. Overall, this budget demonstrates that \$71 an hour provides sufficient income for a comfortable lifestyle for individuals or smaller families focused on smart money management.

## In Summary

In most areas, apart from the most expensive cities, \$71 per hour provides earners with an upper-middle class or wealthy standard of living. However, prudent budgeting is essential, especially for larger families. Keys to maximizing your lifestyle on this salary include minimizing debt, maintaining good credit, purchasing affordable housing, and avoiding reckless spending.

While inflation, economic conditions, and real estate markets can impact buying power, \$71 an hour makes financial security readily attainable for most Americans through careful money management. With the right priorities, earning \$71 per hour allows you to live comfortably, purchase vehicles, acquire property, save money, and indulge occasionally while building substantial financial assets.